Big Star Chicago
Sean Cooley/Thrillist
Flickr/David Danzig
Hollywood Grill
Flickr/solarnu
The Smoke Daddy
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1. Big Star 1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

A lot of things about Wicker Park's Big Star will make you feel like you're in Texas. First, there's the taco-centric menu that features a dozen taco varieties and necessary sides like guacamole and queso. Then there's the drink selection, which is heavy on whiskey, tequila, and craft beer. The massive outdoor patio begs for you to order a margarita and drink the day away, especially during the summer when the seasonal music series is in full swing.

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2. Schwa 1466 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Schwa is an elusive, 24-seat prix fixe restaurant in Wicker Park, where the staff is notorious for rarely answering the phone (read: screening calls) to take reservations. If you somehow manage to lock one down (lucky you), you're invited to bring your own alcohol (and encouraged to bring some for the kitchen), and enjoy an ever-changing, nine-course menu with heavy metal playing in the background. The restaurant is run by a small team led by Chef Michael Carlson, each of whom cooks, serves, pours, and washes dishes. If they like you, they'll invite you into the kitchen for some of that liquor you so generously brought them.

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3. Trenchermen 2039 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

Trenchermen is modeled after the hospitality offered by a Turkish bathhouse that previously occupied its location -- "a place where vodka was at hand and a bowl of borscht and a cold beer was a staple." Today you'll find a classier menu with dishes like braised lamb shank served over goat cheese gnudi, that still captures the comfort of the food formerly served here. Oh, and 30+ beers on tap.

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4. Mirai Sushi 2020 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Open for over 10 years, Mirai is a classy sushi staple with some unique dishes that keep its fans coming back for more -- like its Spicy Mono Roll, made with spicy octopus topped with spicy tuna and sweet unagi sauce.

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5. The Bongo Room 1470 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Brunch at The Bongo Room is not for the faint of heart (or those determined to be skinny of waist). A chocolate French toast tower, beef tenderloin Benedict, and a massive breakfast burrito make up just a part of a brunch menu on which every item is listed under "Sinful".

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6. Hollywood Grill 1601 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622-2246 (Wicker Park)

Open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, Hollywood Grill is for when late nights roll into early mornings, if you follow me. Like, you were out partying, and it got late, and now it’s morning. And you want a side of grilled chicken fettuccine Alfredo with your pancakes.

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7. Enoteca Roma Ristorante 2146 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Wicker Park's not big on super fancy stuff, so if your parents are paying, or you’re treating your parents because they brought you up by goddamn hand and you owe them, this quaint Italian neighborhood wine bar will do just fine.

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8. Picante Taqueria 2016 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (West Town)

Go authentic here with a carne asada or a tongue taco, or try the White Boy Taco - a hardshell combination that's basically an elevated Ortega taco dinner kit.

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9. Thai Village 2053 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (West Town)

The food is totally affordable in it's own right at Thai Village, but bring your own booze to make it doubly so. Ask for the Pad Se Ewe made crispy. Trust us.

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10. The Smoke Daddy 1804 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Smoke Daddy is a BBQ emporium in Wicker Park serving up sauce-slathered eats like ribs and brisket, while also showing its more delicate side with brunch that includes something called a "Big Daddy Breakfast."

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11. Sultan's Market 2057 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

Sultan's Market is the best on-the-go spot for falafel, babaganuj, curry basmati rice, and anything else Middle Eastern/Mediterranean. It's not too expensive, and you can BYOB. Score!